Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) was an Italian composer whose unique position in post-war music has made him something of a mythical figure. Developing works that are both contemplative and arrestingly sonic, he was particularly inspired by non-western musics. Admired by John Cage amongst others, Scelsi formulated a close working relationship between the polarities of improvisation and composition, resulting in a daring micro-tonal music unfettered by convention.
David Ryan's film Via di San Teodoro 8 reflects these tendencies through exploring the spaces of the Casa Scelsi, the residency of Scelsi and his sister Isabella in the heart of Rome. The film explores different aspects of the house, its spaces, sounds and vistas, and its unique ambience opposite the ancient forum. The film's climax is formed from the breathtaking views from the house's terrace together with the unique opportunity to witness the rediscovery of the sounds of the electronic Ondiola, an instrument on which Scelsi composed his later music. The film documents Nicola Bernadini and pianist Oscar Pizzo confronting and re-interpreting the sounds from these instruments within the actual space that Scelsi composed and improvised.
HD Video, 40 minutes, 2010
Director: David Ryan
Director of Photography: Tim Sidell
Sound: Emanuele Costantini